The importance of Indigenous gathering practices

To the untrained eye, an old field may be unremarkable. At best it can be a place to spot wildlife, but few would consider it to have any importance to daily life. However, for the Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik communities in Maine and New Brunswick, old fields are one of numerous habitats where plants are gathered…  More 

Rising seas are destroying homes – rebuild with wood to offset emissions

  As the climate warms and sea levels rise, homes and other structures on coastlines are being damaged or destroyed. Rebuilding with wood – whether on the coast or elsewhere – is the single biggest way that the losses could lower carbon emissions, reports a new modeling study by the USDA Forest Service. “Rising sea…  More 

Data transparency for forests in Latin America and the Caribbean

In addition to providing food, medicine, timber, and many other things people need, forests store huge amounts of carbon. Forests also have the potential to release that carbon. Carbon accounting across entire regions is an increasingly important part of climate action, particularly international agreements. A new book, now available in English as well as Spanish,…  More 

New synthesis of wildland fire smoke science

A comprehensive, open access book on smoke from wildland fires across the U.S. is now available. Wildland Fire Smoke in the United States: A Scientific Assessment synthesizes the physical, chemical, biological, social, and policy issues critical to mitigating the impacts of smoke from wildland fires. Seventy researchers, land managers, and other experts co-authored the book.…  More 

Air, wind, and fire

Imagine water flowing smoothly down a river. When it hits a rock, the flow of the water moves and bends, creating turbulence. Air moves in a similar fashion as it flows through a forest and encounters objects and other movement in its path — but we can’t see it. Unless something is present to help…  More 

Planting oaks: a recipe for success

Growing oak trees to maturity begins with two ingredients: viable acorns and competitive seedlings. USDA Forest Service scientist Stacy Clark wrote a cookbook to help managers with the regeneration process in healthy, productive oak forests. To regenerate an oak forest, healthy, large oak seedlings and saplings must be present in the understory before overstory trees…  More 

Long-term impact of hurricanes on forest markets and carbon storage

Hurricanes have long-term impacts on forest markets and the welfare of landowners in areas hit the hardest. They also disrupt carbon storage processes in forests. USDA Forest Service scientist Jesse Henderson recently published a study in Forest Policy and Economics that showed replanting trees after disasters like Hurricane Michael is the best way to foster…  More 

Bringing science from groundwater to surface

On May 3, 2022 the USDA Forest Service hosted a virtual Santee Experimental Forest Research Forum. More than 40 scientists, researchers, and other partners came together to discuss projects occurring on the Santee Experimental Forest. The Santee Experimental Forest is nestled in the Francis Marion National Forest 10 miles from the coast in South Carolina.…  More 

Pondberry needs light to thrive

  Pondberry (Lindera melissifolia) can tolerate deep shade and flooded soil – conditions that would kill many plants. However, the endangered shrub prefers more light and less flooding, as a team of USDA Forest Service researchers led by Ted Leininger shows. Leininger and colleagues have conducted several pondberry studies at the Flooding Research Facility on…  More 

Managed fires

Fire is a natural ecosystem process. Many land managers in the southeastern U.S. understand that prescribed burning as an essential tool for restoring and maintaining biodiversity in fire-adapted forests and grasslands. The role of wildfire, however, is less widely accepted as a means to maintain healthy, resilient ecosystems. The term wildfire implies a fire that…  More